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DATE News (chronologically)
03/14/08
a1gp
GBR On Top in Mexico City  Mexico - A1 Team Great Britain topped the time sheets in the second of today's two free practice sessions in Mexico City, as the eighth round of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport got underway at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in warm and sunny weather conditions.

Great Britain's Oliver Jarvis, who took the British team's first A1GP victory at the Mexican circuit last year, was the man to beat this afternoon, clocking a 1m21.431s lap of the 4.08km circuit. Having set the pace early on in the hour, Jarvis improved on his lap time with 15 minutes of the session remaining, reclaiming the top spot and demoting current title leader Switzerland’s Neel Jani to second.

The Swiss car was closely followed by Ireland's Adam Carroll in third, ending a strong day for the Irish squad, rookie Niall Quinn having posted the second fastest time this morning. Jeroen Bleekemolen was fourth quickest in the Dutch car this afternoon while South Africa's Adrian Zaugg finished the day fifth overall.

GBR's position was momentarily under threat by a late charge from New Zealand's Jonny Reid, however the Kiwi's time was deleted as he cut the tight chicane leading into the Peraltada corner, moving him down the order to sixth overall. Reid was not alone, many drivers committed the same offence throughout both practice sessions, causing their lap to be ruined and their time deleted.

This afternoon's session was incredibly close, with the top 14 drivers separated by just over a second. The track is renowned for its bumpy surface and turn four seemed to cause the most problems for the drivers today, many commenting on the bumps and rough surface making handling difficult.

GBR's Oliver Jarvis was delighted with his team's performance and is targeting a repeat performance of last year's Feature race win:

'I'm very happy to be back here in Mexico, where I got my first win last year. I'm slightly disappointed that it's not the same circuit layout - I can understand the chicane being put in to slow you down but turn four is a bit of a disappointment to drive with the bad surface. It's still a very good track though and the surface will get better as the weekend goes on and more rubber gets laid down giving us more grip. I'm delighted to be at the top of the times. We're very close to Switzerland but that's to be expected, Neel Jani's having a great time at the moment - his confidence is very high and they've got the car sorted and I think it's going to be very close come qualifying tomorrow.'

Mexico's David Martinez set the fifth fastest time this morning while team-mate David Garza finished 19th overall this afternoon. Garza was disappointed but remains optimistic ahead of qualifying tomorrow:

'We struggled a lot with the car and the problems are really hurting us. It's really easy to lock the brakes and we're on the rev limiter in sixth gear the whole way down the long straight. That along with the altitude here is really a big problem for us. I hope the car for tomorrow will be better and I'll be working hard on the set up of the car tonight to try and make something work.'

A1 Team Italy led the way in the opening free practice session this morning, with A1GP new boy Davide Rigon making an instant impression, lapping the circuit nearly three tenths quicker than anyone else. Niall Quinn was second quickest for Ireland, which was his best showing in the three rookie sessions he has competed in this season. South Africa's Wesleigh Orr was third fastest ahead of French rookie Nicolas Prost.

This morning's session was the first time the A1GP drivers experienced the revised layout of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the shorter version proving about three seconds quicker than last season's layout.

In addition to adding a chicane just before the final high-speed Peraltada corner to aid overtaking and improve safety, three corners will also be missed out in the middle of the course to keep the lap time and race lengths at roughly the same distance as last year's, using one of the alternate layouts of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Turn four has now become a left-hand turn instead of a right-hander and the track rejoins the original course at turn nine, making the circuit length 4.08km, instead of the 4.42km it was last season.

Official Practice Session 1 - Rookie drivers and developing nations only

POS

A1 TEAM

DRIVER

TIME

GAP

1

ITALY

Davide RIGON

01:22.810

2

IRELAND

Niall QUINN

01:23.103

0.293

3

SOUTH AFRICA

Wesleigh ORR

01:23.106

0.296

4

FRANCE

Nicolas PROST

01:23.168

0.358

5

MEXICO

David MARTINEZ

01:23.486

0.676

6

CANADA

Daniel MORAD

01:23.716

0.906

7

BRAZIL

Felipe GUIMARAES

01:23.773

0.963

8

PAKISTAN

Adam KHAN

01:24.004

1.194

9

INDONESIA

Satrio HERMANTO

01:24.061

1.251

10

AUSTRALIA

John MARTIN

01:24.104

1.294

11

CZECH REPUBLIC

Filip SALAQUARDA

01:24.196

1.386

12

SWITZERLAND

Rahel FREY

01:24.200

1.39

13

GREAT BRITAIN

Duncan TAPPY

01:24.253

1.443

14

NETHERLANDS

Arie LUYENDYK

01:24.329

1.519

15

PORTUGAL

Bruno SERRA

01:24.529

1.719

16

INDIA

Parthiva SURESHWAREN

01:25.414

2.604

17

LEBANON

Jimmy AUBY

01:25.942

3.132

18

MALAYSIA

Aaron LIM

01:25.787

2.977

Official Practice session 2

POS

DRIVER

A1 TEAM

LAP

TIME

GAP FIRST

LAPS

1

Oliver JARVIS

GREAT BRITAIN

18

01:21.431

-

23

2

Neel JANI

SWITZERLAND

8

01:21.482

×0.051

17

3

Adam CARROLL

IRELAND

17

01:21.808

×0.377

24

4

Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN

NETHERLANDS

21

01:21.876

×0.445

27

5

Adrian ZAUGG

SOUTH AFRICA

13

01:21.883

×0.452

23

6

Jonny REID

NEW ZEALAND

17

01:21.884

×0.453

20

7

Jonathan SUMMERTON

USA

25

01:21.942

×0.511

29

8

Michael AMMERMÜLLER

GERMANY

13

01:21.974

×0.543

19

9

Bruno JUNQUEIRA

BRAZIL

12

01:22.126

×0.695

21

10

Alex YOONG

MALAYSIA

19

01:22.127

×0.696

23

11

Robert WICKENS

CANADA

19

01:22.227

×0.796

23

12

Jonathan COCHET

FRANCE

17

01:22.343

×0.912

18

13

Congfu CHENG

CHINA

14

01:22.362

×0.931

30

14

Edoardo PISCOPO

ITALY

16

01:22.525

×1.094

26

15

Filipe ALBUQUERQUE

PORTUGAL

27

01:22.586

×1.155

27

16

Narain KARTHIKEYAN

INDIA

17

01:22.704

×1.273

25

17

Adam KHAN

PAKISTAN

21

01:22.785

×1.354

28

18

Jimmy AUBY

LEBANON

32

01:22.885

×1.454

33

19

David GARZA

MEXICO

12

01:22.935

×1.504

25

20

Filip SALAQUARDA

CZECH REPUBLIC

2

01:23.241

×1.810

2

21

John MARTIN

AUSTRALIA

7

01:23.336

×1.905

20

22

Satrio HERMANTO

INDONESIA

8

01:23.454

×2.023

19

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